Student Affairs

2005 Virtual Case Study (VCS) Scenario

Ellingsburg University is set in the rolling hills of New England with approximately 3000 students. The institution was founded in the late 1800's and is steeped in numerous campus-based traditions. The student body is almost 100% residential and includes students from every part of the country.

The campus has recently hired a Technology Director to help upgrade campus systems. She has also been charged to examine the school web page which has been neglected over the past few years and is not as functional as many at the institution would like.

As part of this examination your group has been appointed by the new Director to be key players of a portal conceptual development team. You have been identified as individuals, while having some knowledge and experience in technology related issues and resources, who are not experts. The Director wants the portal project to be led by end users, not technocrats. On your team is the Director of Residential Life, a representative from the Office of Communications, and the President of the Faculty Senate.

You are to give a deliverable mock-up using PowerPoint showing the proposed portal project (structure and content) The presentation is to be given to the president's executive staff for their approval as whether to proceed with the project.

Questions you should address are:

  • Why a customized portal and not just use the university web presense?
  • What should go in the portal and why?
  • Recommendations for who (what types of people) should be appointed to detailed planning and implementation team(s).
  • How you propose to get feedback on what goes in the portal and how it should be organized?
  • What other college/university systems need to be able to communicate with the portal (single sign-on perhaps).
  • Once you have decided what needs to go in, how are you planning to organize the portal pages?
  • Identify any pertinent literature and give examples of "good practices" sites or different models of student portals.


  • Your group should utilize relevant student affairs literature, where appropriate, for their presentation.
  • Utilization of outside sources, URLs, articles, etc. are encouraged, but does not include input from individuals outside the team.
  • Submissions should be well-thought out and organized.
  • The preferable format for viewing is PowerPoint.
    All submissions MUST be no larger than 600K.

Judges will be utilizing the following criteria when evaluating presentations.

  • practicality of approach
  • innovation of approach
  • use of literature both within and outside student affairs
  • organization of presentation
  • rationalization for chosen responses